Category Archives: North

“Big Burger V” by Eliezer Capetillo

11207 W Hardy Rd
Houston, TX 77076

Friday nights were very memorable at Big Burger V on the corner of West Hardy and Grenfell. Many people from around the neighborhood just hanging out eating a burger or sipping on a milkshake, and showing of their custom rides. People had all kinds of cars from hotrods, muscle cars, and lowriders. A car that is still very present in my mind was a 1950’s two door Chevy. I can remember that car like if it was yesterday. The red paint was close to perfect. At a glance it looked all original, but up-close you could see that it was heavily modified. The upper and lower control arms were chromed, including many of the steering components. The wheel wells were red and shiny like the hood. The original 350 motor, rebuilt to original specs, had many chromed parts like the valve covers, air filter, gas pump, pulleys, and the fan. The interior was restored to original condition giving it the old classic look, all red. Another car that stood out a lot was a 1970 Pink Panther Pink Dodge Challenger. Pink has never been a color of choice for me, but that car made pink look good. Everybody had their own car or truck with unique styles and custom touches that set them apart from the rest.

Big Burger V’s previous owner opened during the1950’s, it was only an ice cream place, its previous name wasn’t Big Burger V, Nick took over on July 16, 1973, naming the place Big Burger V. Cool cars and trucks were not the only thing bringing customers back, it was Big Burger V’s customer service and delicious food. At first Big Burger V struggled to bring in customers. Nick did not have experience in business, but knew sufficient English to ask a customer what he wanted. To make ends meet he had to open the shop seven days a week. Frustrated with still not bringing in enough income, Nick hit upon the idea of selling burgers, a successful venture.

Big Burger V has always been a good, clean, family-owned, old fashioned, no microwave burger shop. Its customer service is excellent. For example if you are not satisfied with your food they will change it, till the customer is satisfied. Its food is also some of the best in Houston Texas. There burgers are very good compared to many of the surrounding fast food restaurants, not to mention the serving proportions are also bigger. I can still smell the scent of the freshly fried French fries, and hear the sizzling meat patties as they are slapped on the grill. They only cook till you order and use fresh ingredients. The white and blue colors set it apart from all the other restaurants, staring with the blue porch that is not too flashy or elegant, but good for its sole purpose. The white walls and blue trimmings, give the small shop a very clean and welcome look. Many of the people that eat there are also very friendly. It’s an enjoyable place to sit eat and relax.
I had a personal talk with Kathy Nick’s wife. I asked her, how where they doing it to stay in business for so many years? And she responded, “To have a successful family business you have to be dedicated, honest, responsible, and treat your customers with respect. And treat your customers like if they were family members, show them you care about them, and over all excellent food”. She also told me that July 16 is a very special date, not only is it the day when Big Burger V opened, but on that same date years later Nick proposed to her.

Big Burger V is located in the Northside of Houston, it is very well known in my neighborhood. My neighborhood where Big Burger V stands is not as bad many people think it is. It just depends who you hang out with, and how you act around people. You’ll be good as long as you mind your own business and don’t mess with anybody. My neighborhood is mostly made up of Hispanics, but a big percentage of the people that visit Big Burger V are American. Some of my teachers from Sam Houston High School have many good memories at Big Burger V from their teenage years. My history teacher told us that when he was in high school he used to go there and hang out a lot, sometimes even skip school. He told us that everything around used to look different. Hardy toll road wasn’t built and were Hardy stands it used to be heavily wooded, and houses stood there. He told us that Sam Houston High wasn’t fenced all around and it was very easy to get out.

In September of 2008 Hurricane Ike hit Houston Texas. The day before the hurricane Nick and Kathy went to board up the place, but they had too many customers so they had to take care of them. Police stations were coming to buy food and many people from around the neighborhood too. They were so busy that by around 6 P.M. all the food they had was completely sold out. Days later when Nick and Kathy came back to see all the damage they were completely shocked. It completely destroyed Big Burger V. “When I saw the roof of the restaurant on top of the building next to us, I felt like if a family member was taken from me, we also had a very hard time opening the front door from all the debris”. -Nicks wife said. When I passed thru Big Burger V, I saw how the roof was completely torn off. There were pieces of roof hanging over the front edge of the building. I didn’t expect this much damage on their burger shop. They had survived many other hurricanes; I was thinking another one won’t hurt. The destruction was very devastating, not only to the owners, but the community, and its customers. Many teachers from Sam Houston were saddened by what had happened. They couldn’t believe that a place so memorable had been destroyed.

Luckily Nick and Kathy reopened seventeen months later, Many Houstonians and people from small towns awaited anxiously. While they were under construction a worker asked Kathy “Why are you spending so much money to re-open this place, you can probably get another place for cheaper”. When he asked that question many people started showing up and asking when where they going to re-open, so when the worker saw all of the people, he said “well that answered my question”. Nick and Kathy knew that re-opening and re-building the place was a good and smart choice.

February 15, 2010 was an incredible day for Nick, Kathy and their family; it was their grand opening after hurricane Ike. It was so busy that it was nearly impossible to find a parking spot. There were cars and trucks parked all along Hardy Toll Road. It was so crazy that people were parking from Shipley donuts on Little York all the way down to Big Burger V. It was a huge success for Nick and his family. Many people had to wait in line for four hours. As I stood in line I overheard many conversations, about older people in their teenage years. Many were saying that they used to go their when they were in high school, and now they were bringing their grandchildren. One conversation that shocked me the most was about an older married couple that met each other at Big Burger V when they were in high school. I was astonished of how this small place played a big part in many people’s lives, no wonder it was packed.

Going to Big Burger V has always been fun, especially now that I have an old school ride that I can drive there. Big Burger V makes me feel like if I’m going back in time, in the era when muscle cars were all the commotion and everybody used to hang out at burger shops. It brings back a lot of memories from my childhood.



TheBeauty of Nature: Bill Crowley Park by Silvano Torres

5100 Lauder Rd.
Houston, TX 77039



November 2010–Parks are ubiquitous in the United States but every park has its own history. Bill Crowley Park is not an exception. Hundreds of people from the surrounding neighborhoods visit Bill Crowley Park in Houston every year, including me. My experiences in this park have convinced me that Bill Crowley Park symbolizes the easy-going diversity found in our city. Looking around at the many types of people, their ages, their races, and their recreational activities builds a story for Houston ‘s way of blending all types of people. All of the neighborhoods around the park are known to be some of the most safe and peaceful in the Houston area. Bill Crowley Park is a place for families to come relax, have fun, spend valuable time together, and enjoy the beautiful nature of our world.

Bill Crowley Park may be reached by traveling north from Downtown Houston on State Highway 59 and to 5100 Lauder Rd. The park is located at about half a mile on Lauder Rd. to the west of Highway 59. When you first enter the park you will see three signs right away. First the 20 mph speed limit sign, the second sign tells you not to park along the side of the road to protect runners, and the last tells you that the Harris County Sheriff’s Department directed by Tommy Thomas patrols the park. As soon as you drive further into the park you must be more cautious because children are running around most of the time, but particularly on the weekends. You will also be warned not to process or consume any alcoholic beverage while in the park. If you fail to follow this rule you can receive a fine of up to $500. No person, other than a police officer, may carry or process a weapon within the park. The security in the park is the number one priority for the park’s patrol department. All this information and more are available at the Harris County Sheriff’s Department official website, http:/

I visited Bill Crowley Park for the first time about five years ago. I went to play basketball and to run for little while with my sister. I remember we went late in the afternoon at about 7:00pm . All the basketball courts were full and lots of people were waiting for a chance to play. My sister and I decided to go running instead. There were many people running, walking, and riding their bicycles around the park’s track. Children were playing in the playground, a couple of people were playing tennis and other people were just sitting on the benches soothing. Something that really caught my attention was the number of parents spending time with their children. Some of the parents appeared to be tired, I thought maybe because they had just come from work. In spite of everything they made an effort to spend quality time with their kids. Bill Crowley Park closes at 8:00pm every day, so at this time my sister and I had to go home. I live approximately one mile from the park so we just ran back home to exercise more.

I continued this routine of going to the park for about two months. Every now and then I would get a chance to play basketball, others I would just run, and occasionally I sat down in one of the benches away from everyone to relax. I would sit to think about my life, my plans for the future, and lay back and look at the sky to listen to the singing of the birds on the trees. This helped me release a lot of the stress that I was going through in my first year in High School. During this period I met a couple of people. In one of my usual visits I was invited to play tennis by a boy who saw me pass by in one of my laps around the track. I had never played tennis before, but I was eager to do so. I agreed to play and it was a fantastic experience. After we were done playing we introduced each other. His name was Omar and ironically we attended the same school at which he played tennis. We would get together at the park or at school to play for a while till we were to busy to keep that habit.

The park counts with two parking lots one is located in the right side of the park in the shape of an L the other in the left side of the park. It has three Baseball fields all to the right of the first parking lot. These fields are empty most of the time except on Saturdays when a couple teams get together to compete. It has one big Basketball court with eight baskets to give everyone a chance to play and not wait for others to finish. To the left of the park there are two tennis courts with a steel cage around them to prevent you from losing balls and from hitting anyone.

All of the things that we have in our park even the park itself would not be there if it wasn’t for the support that the National Recreation & Park Association provides. The NRPA provides our community volunteers with the proper knowledge to support our park. NRPA unites the community to help them discover the benefits of having parks, to protect the environment, and to prevent disagreements when it comes to changes in the park. Also, Houston s running community speaks up whenever unwanted changes occur in the park like the cutting of trees.

In the center of the park is the most visited attraction of all. The children’s playground; with all the swings, the short little tunnels that lead to the sliding ramp and many more things children love. The park also provides a ½ mile track that goes around the center for anyone who enjoys walking, running, or riding bicycles in the beautiful outdoors. Around the track there are many benches for you to sit and appreciate the beauty of nature, to relax and release all the stress of the world around you. Dispersed all around the park are 25 concrete tables with cooking grills available for anyone to cook as well as trash cans to keep the park nice and clean. The main office is located by the baseball fields and there is always a peace officer available all the time the park is open.

On one occasion when I had finish running I sat down in one of the benches close to the left side parking lot of the park when an elderly man came up to me. He was wearing a headband, a gray sweater, black shorts, and white running shoes. He had been walking for quite some time. I new this because I passed him up a few times when I was running and his sweater was very wet. I had seen this man a good number of times that I went to the park. He asked me if he could sit with me and I told him he could. Then he asked for my name I told him Silvano, he went on to introduce himself. His name was Robert Oregon and he was 65 years old. He told me he had been going to Bill Crowley Park ever since they opened it more than 15 years ago and he would never stop until god call for him. He said before the park was built there was nothing but woods in that area. “The community around here needed a park. We needed a place for families and friends to come together other than at home.” He said that parks are the best way for anyone to see the diversity among the communities of Houston . Also, the best place to meet several of your neighbors.

On my latest visits to Bill Crowley Park not much has changed. The baseball fields are empty most of the time. The basketball courts are always busy in the afternoon. The tennis courts with only two persons most of the time. It was very pleasing to see all the parents with their kids playing and teaching them how to play games or to use toys. I saw this man teaching his son how to fly a kite. His wife was teaching their daughter how to ride a bicycle. This brought back memories from when I was a little kid. I remembered when my mom helped me make my first kite. Also when I got my first bicycle and went to try it out for the first time. I know how important those things were for me at that time. I went to ask this couple how they felt when they were with their kids? They both told me that they felt complete. “These are times that we are never going to get back and I want my children to enjoy them to the fullest and to know that we were here for them.”

Many more couples were walking around with their little babies. The children’s playground is still the most visited place in the park but I think I have seen more kids now. This means that our community is growing which means our city is growing as well. The diversity at Bill Crowley Parkis incredible you see Whites, Hispanics, Blacks, Chinese; you name it the park has it. The diversity makes Houston a great city and Bill Crowley Park its best symbolization. When I see all those kids with a smile in their faces it makes me want to be a little kid again with no stress or worries and no responsibilities, those were the good days. I have been to many more parks after my first visit to Bill Crowley Park but none of them compare to Bill Crowley. One thing was different I did not see Mr. Robert Oregon in any of my recent visits. I have been thinking that maybe he is not able to go to the park by himself because of his age, but maybe God made the call already.

Furthermore, this park is the best representation of the great city of Houston . My experiences have convinced me that all parks have the potential to build a sense of community. This idea has come to me in my own experience of making friends and meeting strangers. Also, from watching mothers and fathers build strong ties with their children. When I see that my community is united it makes me feel much safer. I always see some of my neighbors at the park and we always greet each other. I hope to meet more people in the years to come. I will keep going to Bill Crowley park because is one of the places where I forget all my problems.

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Harris County Sheriff’s Office

National Park Service

Texas Parks & Wildlife

Dance Town Bingo by Ana Ramirez

7214 Airline Drive
Houston, TX 77076-2436
(713) 692-4646 ‎

“The next number is B14. Is there a winner? B14?” James yells from the middle of the room. Everyone rushes to look through their cards for the number all hoping no one else screams “bingo” before them. Just as the room begins to calm down, a lady stands and screams “BINGO!!!” with excitement. The whole room tears up their cards to start a new game. This here is a night like any other night at Dance Town Bingo a place to have fun located on 7214Airline Drive near Little York. You might think that bingo is something that old folks do and that it’s boring for someone my age, but bingo is a game for all ages, young or old to play.

Dance Town Bingo is one of my favorite places here in Houston. It’s a small place where many people gather every night to play bingo with family and friends. Many come here nightly, and some at least once a week to get away from everything and have fun. Inside Dance Town Bingo people sit down at brown long cafeteria tables that are in rows up and down from each side of the room. There are lines at the entrance of the room everyone buys their books/cards. Each book has twelve small bingo cards and four pages for the different games that are going to be played during each session. Bingo experts will play up to thirty cards at a time. I asked a 32 year old lady named Sofia how she can play so many cards without missing a number.

“I have played bingo for years and it took me a lot of time and practice so that I could get good at bingo, I enjoy coming here every night to play bingo and just have fun like everyone in this room.” I noticed that everyone in the room had their own techniques some would mark the shapes that are going to be played with a yellow marker so they won’t accidently mark the wrong numbers and then mark it with the darker color when the numbers were being called.

In this room you see the large boards each side of the room, and small television screens on the wall, so that when the numbers are being called everyone can see. James stands in the middle of the room where he picks small balls out of the screen bal like they are bouncing balls. You can see the numbers being tossed and turned so that the same numbers won’t be repeated as the previous game. He takes out a ball and in a loud, very clear voice he says, “The next number is N42, N42.” He continues to shout out the numbers until someone screams bingo. Each card has small numbers at the bottom and when they win they call out the numbers and then James puts them in the computer and he shows everyone the card and how they won.

Once in a while there will be more than one winner and he shows us each card some people may not like winning with other people because then they have to share the prize. The biggest amount of money you can win is $750, but if three people win then they have to divide that between each of them. I often see a girl my age sitting in front of me, playing bingo. She wore some blue jeans, a bright pink neon shirt, some black converse, and glasses. She with her sister, I see her here almost every time I come. She’s always texting and playing at the same time, and she gets upset whenever someone screams bingo before her. She gets so into the game sometimes that no one can stop her. I ask her why she likes coming to play she says her sister started bringing her, every day.

My mom’s friend Juanita comes every night I tell my mom that she is addicted to the game because even when she doesn’t have money she’ll go and play. She likes to go on Mondays because the cards are one dollar and she buys two or three. She always says “today is going to be my lucky day” but she never wins. I think it’s crazy to come if you never win, but some people want to win so bad. They keep coming to see if maybe their luck will change. I think you should just have fun, play the game, and maybe you will win.

Bingo isn’t just a game it’s something that anyone can do from small children to our grandparents. In the article Generations are United by Call of the Game, Lisa Gray presents a detailed story and how a young group of kids, as she calls them, plays bingo and get really into the game. They get excited when they’re about to win, “The crowd erupted: “WOOOOAAAA!” This was their new tradition, response to their favorite number.”(Ph. 6) This shows what kind of excitement that the game brings to them as well as many others.

In different cultures, there are other ways to play bingo, and other names. Hispanics have something they call “Loteria.” It is our Mexican bingo and is something that many Hispanic families have played at least once in their life. You could play just for fun or you could play with money if you want something more exciting. Everyone gets their cards and they pay 50 cents or a dollar depending on how much they want to play for. The way you win is by making a line all the way across, up and down, or diagonal. Unlike bingo, which has bingo at the top and lines with numbers loteria has lines with pictures. Someone calls out the cards and says the name of the picture on the card for example el valiente (the brave one) or el alacran (the scorpion). Then everyone looks through their card and when they win they will scream “bingo” or “buenas”. This indicates that they have won and as reward they win all the money that the people put in for their cards.

At first the idea of bingo was boring to me I didn’t think I was going to like it because it seemed like something, for older folks would be doing and it would be boring for someone my age. Once I started getting more into the game, I enjoyed it more and actually started to like it. I was amazed at the large amount of people that gathered up every night just to play. It’s funny how once I started to get into the game, I would get mad when someone would stand up and scream “BINGO!!!!” Everyone would just get their cards and crumble them up and a new game would start. There’s is usually two sessions and between each game everyone can finally get up and go use the restroom and get something to eat. They would then use this time to buy more cards and start getting their cards ready for the next game. The good thing about bingo is that you have many chances to win and play.

In my family every week is the same we all gather up Friday nights to go play bingo at Dance Town Bingo. I enjoy spending time with my family because we don’t have many times like this where were all together having fun. Everyone’s always busy and never home so it’s important to us to have at least one day of the week where we could be together as a family. It’s impossible to see each other during the week because everyone’s always busy running around here and there to going to working or school. We try to be together as much as we can but it’s never the whole family, but one thing is for sure we never miss bingo night that’s something everyone in my family enjoys and we go just for fun. We don’t really win like other people there has only been on time my mom won $350. You don’t know when you’ll win but if you do you’re the lucky one.

I have many good memories at Dance Town Bingo because I could be with my family and spend time with them that I can’t always have. I remember when I was younger and we used to be together more. I miss those days where we could just sit down and talk about our day and how everyone was doing. This is something we now do once a week when we go play bingo with the family. I remember all the good times we’ve had here and the many times that I enjoyed playing. It also reminds me of how we used to play loteria when I was younger this was a way to have fun with the family and spend time together. My brother Jose was younger like 4 or 5 during this time and didn’t know how to play very well but he would still try to play. I used to just let him win so he wouldn’t feel bad, but know that his older I compete with him to see who wins or who fills up their card the most. I like it when we just talk about everything were doing and have those fun nights where everyone is laughing and having fun.

It’s a good idea to have somewhere you can go and have fun with the whole family. For my family this is important because we could just go here and have fun and talk to each other about our week and what’s going on. This is the only time that I get to spend with everyone because everyone’s always busy and never home. Bingo is a fun and is a good activity that everyone should try at least once and I encourage everyone to try it. Don’t think it’s boring just have fun and play. There are many bingo places everywhere you just have to put your time and effort to go and don’t be surprised when u see people your age playing bingo.

Dance Town Memories
Bingo Call

Ana Ramirez is a second year student at the University Houston Downtown, who is planning to major as a teacher. Ana is a very freindly person that loves helping others in whatever she can. She loves kids and gets along great with people. She is currently a part time student at the University of Houston Downtown and a full time worker at Namco.

In my experience, Ana has proven herself to be an honest, hard-working young woman. she is generous and kind. Even as a teenager, she was always thinking of others. Several times, I have witness her volunteer to help others in her community.

At all times I have found her to be  humble, dependable, and a nice going person . She strives always for the best and takes a high interes in education. Ana plans to get a degree and pursue her career as a teacher.

Resting in Heavenly Places: Refuge Temple by Pierre Simon

13120 Luthe RD.
Houston, Texas 77039

January 2004–Catering from youthful tradition, to teenage obligation, and finally to adult acknowledgment and understanding, there is a church; Refuge Temple Ministries to be exact. I have been to this place many times in my life; and this is Refuge Temple.

Refuge Temple Ministries has not only evolved physically (in appearance), but through time, the perception of the church has evolved also, due to an intervening agent, age. The church has sat on about ten acres since 1974. It’s hasn’t been known for its breathe taking appearance, but every Sunday people still gather in this edifice to hear from the lord. Some argue that first impression is everything. Well if that was the case there wouldn’t be any members at Refuge Temple. The church was initially painted white, but after a few hurricanes, tornadoes, strong winds and rain, the paint looks as though it had gotten tired of staying on the wood, so it just faded away. The parking lot is filled with mud, due to the rain that gathers on the gravel parking lot. Obviously the draining system isn’t to excellent, because it doesn’t drain the water off of the parking lot. Walking up to the doors is similar to walking into a graduation at Hofhienz Pavilion. It has huge doubled doors made of cherry wood that takes about all of a person’s energy just to open the door.

“Another Sabbath”

Sunday mornings for Refuge Temple, church going people is traditional. It is a habitual practice of waking up and turning on gospel music, getting the kids ready for church, and then finally rushing everyone in the car and proceeding to church.

Upon reaching the church I could see an old fragile woman by the name of Margaret Booker, who would be awaiting all of the little children so she could kiss them on their forehead, and leave slight streaks of saliva. All of the children immediately wipe off the streaks and proceed to their playground, the last two rows of the sanctuary. After seeing this display of “spiritual affection” from Sister Booker, an usher came out to the foyer and gathered everyone in the service. At this church, everyone is either a sister or a brother. Each person is addressed as sister or brother followed by their last name. We were greeted by our fellow saints and then I proceeded to the sanctuary.As the service begins, Bro. Mike asked, “Is there anyone who wants to pray at the altar?” After a brief pause, to allow some to come to the altar, he commences into a brief prayer.

“Father God in the name of Jesus, we want to come to you today first to give you praise and glory for being God. We thank you for keeping us throughout the week and allowing us to come together and worship you one more time. We ask that you forgive us for the sins in which we have committed over this week. We want to be closer to you. You are God almighty, and we will serve you to the end of days.”

After prayer, Psalms 102 was read for the congregational reading. Next the praise team is called up, and the praise team leader, Bro. Alex, commences into sing “I know it was the blood.” Brother Alex was considered as “the vampire of the church,” because he always sung songs such as: I know it was the blood, the lamb was slain in blood, and his number one hit, the blood that Jesus shed for you and I. The base guitarist begins to violently strike the strings which made everyone’s head move to the beat. Then suddenly, “Man I feel the spirit,” shouted the slim women on my right. Then as the domino effect of World War One, every one began to dance all at once. They called it shouting, which was a holy form of dancing. Across the way I could see a woman shaking her head so violently to the music that her hair started to fall out. But to my comfort I later found out that she had just glued it in this morning so she wasn’t shouting herself bald as I had thought. This went on for about twenty minutes

By the time the song was over, about half of the whole entire congregation was at the altar, finishing their last holy dance steps. Then everyone started praying and lifting up their voices to God. Many of the elders of the church began to speak in a different languages and yell, “Hallelujah.” Until now, I’d never realized what the Bible meant when it spoke “those who believe in Christ will speak in new tongues.” While this is going on the foyer door is opened, and in steps Bishop Wendell Archie, Pastor Harry Simon Sr., Pastor John Bush, and Pastor Jimmy Guillory. All of these men come into the service with their “game faces on.”

Each of the pastors at this church has different personalities and preaching characteristics. Pastor Harry Simon Sr. is the kind of preacher who doesn’t do a lot of yelling, but instead he would rather use the dictionary and other sources to help prove and show the congregation his points. Pastor Jimmy Guillory is a man from New Orleans, Louisiana with a very strong accent. It is praise worthy just if someone can honestly say that they can understand what he is saying. Therefore, Pastor Jimmy doesn’t preach that often. Pastor John Bush is the preacher who will scream throughout his whole entire sermon. It has been said that Pastor Bush tries to beat his previous amplitude record every time he preaches. After all of the Pastors march in with Bishop Wendell, they give the signal to brother Alex that they are ready to take the service to a higher level; the sermon. Brother Alex received the signal and immediately took up the offering, and allowed Brother Henry, an usher, to pray over the offering. This is Brother Henry’s only time to shine so, instead of just praying for the offering, he decides that he wants to give a few words of exhortation. Finally, the offering is collected together and handed to the head usher to take to the finance office.

After this, Bishop Wendell was called up and he began his sermon. He yelled and moved so much on the pulpit, that his shirt had sweat running from it like rivers of running water. He was the type of preacher that treated a sermon like a meal at a five star restaurant. In his first five minutes of every sermon, Bishop Wendell would act as the waiter. He welcomed all the visitors that came to “hear the word of the lord.” Then he’d move on to the menu; in which he would give the congregation a layout of what they could expect the sermon to contain. After the menu section, Bishop would move on to the hors d’oerves. In this period of the sermon, the Bishop gave the congregation little excerpts from his soon-to-be powerful, god-sent sermon, which would prepare the congregation for the full course meal.

The children in the back row play and touch each other the whole service, never once stopping to see whether or not the sermon, in which the Bishop is preaching, can be beneficial unto them. “How long will the church continue to be led away from God,” asked the Bishop.

“Amen brother you better preach,” yelled out Sis. Fiddian. Bishop Wendell lifted up one leg and hopped on it as a one-legged kangaroo, and yelled, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Many people saw Bishop Wendell as a preacher who would scare his people into serving God. He was also a very long-winded preacher. Bishop could hold a sermon for two hours. He’d always defend his “soap box” stand point by saying that, “In the Bible, Solomon preached for four hours straight.” This always brought the thoughts of the service being to long back into subjection. Bishop now closes out his sermon and calls an altar call. An altar call is a time when everyone is allowed to come to the altar and pray to God. The altar call is also a time when the little kids of the back two rows will wake up and began playing again. The playing between the kids escalates to an even higher level, because there is no supervision, because all of the parents are at the altar praying. The kids are now playing hide-and-go-seek under the benches. When Bishop Wendell called this altar call everyone herded up to the front of the church like pigs to the trough. I look to my left and notice a young man sitting in his seat, contemplating whether or not to take his place with his fellow swine, and make the altar call. Just as I could have expected, the little kids had begun their games under the benches.

As I took my place in the altar call, I couldn’t help but notice and embrace the euphoric feeling that I received while being prayed for at the altar. This Pianist, Earl Jones, who majored in music, and minored in classical, began to play a soft piece titled, The Lord is Here.

The sounds of prayer and worship compassed the room as the clouds surround the firmament of heaven. Women and men everywhere began to cry and wave their hands in the air, which symbolized a sign of surrendering to the will of God. Many people came to God on that day, and began to live different from that day forward. Refuge Temple is not just a church. It is not a playground for young children to re-enact the last cops and robber episode they saw on television, but it was a safe haven. Refuge Temple brings people together where they can worship God, and feel free to pray and receive words of teachings from God.

“Did you enjoy the service,” I asked Brother Joseph.

“I really enjoyed the service, because I have never heard a man preach like that. Bishop Wendell is a man of God and his message was truly sent from God,” he replied.

This was common after church to fellowship with the congregation and talk about the service. After this everyone stops by the concession stands in the church’s kitchen and buy a substitute for dinner; which is usually some supreme nachos, hotdogs, or gumbo.

Everyone is leaving now, but the memories of the message and the service will leave with everyone until they meet again “Next Sabbath”


  • The Sabbath To
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  • Public Education: Sam Houston by Carlos Venegas

    9400 Irvington Blvd.
    Houston, Texas 77076

    January 2004–It’s a warm 98-degree Sunday afternoon and we are at the dawn of summer entering the fall. Note that in Houston, 98 degrees is just another day in the spring, summer, fall, and yes winter. Tomorrow is the first day of school at Sam Houston H.S. The schoolyard is crystal clear and all seems peacefully sound and tranquil except for the young minds, of eager students. Who would have thought that one might actually be able to gain anything from attending such an “exceptional” school? Sure it may lack in a few of the more important things like preparing students for college or giving them any type of education, but hey you learn how to apply a lot different things you could not possibly learn in any other school.

    Sam Houston H.S. was built in the late 1800’s, making it one of Texas’s oldest high schools. By the way, it also issues out Texas’s oldest high school newspaper, “THE AEGIS”. After a few years it was relocated to a new and more permanent location, on the corner of Tidwell Rd., and Irvington Blvd. Subsequently after the school’s repositioning, it endured many alterations, within and without. This formerly race-divided school is presently one of the most culturally varied high schools inside of Houston. Despite all of the changes during the early years, the students and staff’s tiger pride had yet to lose its glow.

    Inversely, the standards of education began to diminish as the years progressed. The income of new generations coming in became lower and lower. Therefore the school, by necessity, had to lower its standards accordingly. As the income of the students going to the school began to decrease, the assets of low funded schooling became apparent. School fights and riots became a common problem in the mid to late sixties. From then on, it only got worse. During the early 90’s, gangs became a major problem. A lot of the news reports were of racial fights between major gangs such as the “Crips” and the “Bloods”. Going to school became a hassle; most did not want to deal it. These were the reports from the teachers. Around this time is when the Houston police became a major part of the school, major as in they had a central office within the school.

    In recent years, the level of security has sky rocketed thanks to new discoveries in technology. Digital cameras in all areas were one thing and metal detectors were another. There is no area in the school that isn’t under surveillance and even the cameras are being watched by cameras. In fact, I believe there was a time when they even used drug-sniffing dogs to go through the lockers. Rules such as only mesh or clear backpacks are allowed in the school were in effect. Thousands of dollars were put into making this school safe. If it weren’t for civil law there would be plenty of video of violence in the restrooms too. Every day after school was the same story; there is a multitude of Houston’s finest just waiting to escort any troublemaker off of campus.

    In more recent years, you would find an occasional gang fight but nothing too big. Not like before. Right now Sam Houston is one of the more secured schools in the state of Texas. The campus life there is one not to reckon with. One would think it was safe to enter. But why go in at all, right?

    What about the education, you know, the welfare and nurturing of the students? The school gets a lot of money from the district, but where is it all at, where does it go? Well, after all the money spent on keeping the violence down, security, and paying the principals salary, there was no money left to buy proper school teaching equipment. The schools security staff received all of its riot gear but what about our books? Our second rate computers were only useful for one thing, visual aids to what a computer used to look like. Our hand-me-down textbooks from “yester-year” were very useful; they helped us understand the works of Sir Isaac Newton as they flew out the second and third story restroom windows and landed on various targets in the surrounding area. Other than that they worked great in holding up the windows for a few nice breezes to come in since our air conditioning did not work. Houston weather is very unforgiving. If it was a cool 97 degrees outside, it was at least 10 degrees hotter inside. I think the air conditioning was set backwards or something. You could actually break a sweat just walking from one class to another. The food wasn’t too hot either. We often had too many outdated meals and the breakfast tacos were too powdery. Just getting through a day would be a struggle for anybody not used to these conditions. Despite the various imperfections, the school held up pretty good. There was the whole asbestos phase but it was cleaned up pretty good, and then the mercury incident. The things people bring to school huh! The teaching staff was great though. It was one of the best because even without all of the great resources at their disposal; they were still able to maintain a good curriculum throughout the school year. It’s amazing what a teacher can do with a whole bunch of notes from their old college years, a piece of chalk, and a few scantrons. I guess innovation was one of the trades we all picked up.

    Of course, our standardized test scores did not reflect these innovations too well. On paper, we weren’t the best scoring school in the state but we worked with what we had (those who wanted). According to the numbers put together by the Board of Education, we are right at about 73% passing the T.A.A.S. in 1997. I don’t believe that our numbers are really that low because usually when we were taking our tests, most of the students were not present and the ones that were, didn’t even take the test seriously or were unprepared physically. I bet the school could probably boost its numbers up by 10% if the students would just try. The knowledge is not hard to find but the effort to find it is the key, and that is something Sam Houston does not have. Every year the school starts with about 1000 freshmen; by senior year, only 400 will graduate, 20 of which don’t even get to walk on stage until December due to missing credits. Not many people get to graduate, a lot of the reasons the graduate rate is so low is the fact that we have a lot of different obstacles to overcome. Many of which we must face from day to day in contrast with school.

    Throughout high school, there were many things I saw that troubled me a lot. A lot of my friends were forced to quit school. Between raising their families, working for a living, and dealing with constant violence, school just didn’t seem to be a priority in their eyes any more. Over at Sam, dropout is not a choice given to you. It is usually circumstantial and difficult reality you have to face.

    As students, we really didn’t just all mix together. Most students had their own little groups or clicks that they belonged to. Some of the groups were active in the school functions like the N.H.S. while others just didn’t care like the Goths. These bevies ranged from the more popular Jocks to the less popular Outcasts or Loners. These little differences often posed problems but were still a part of the experience. Me myself, I would sit with just about anybody who invited me over. I would call myself a “roamer” because that’s just me and I was everywhere. For example, since I was on the baseball team, one day I would sit in the Baseball table. Then the very next day, since I was in the band too, I would sit with my band friends (who were very loud, but friendly). I had friends in just about every type of group there. It’s amazing how a lot of people from different groups thought similarly but just had a different way of expressing it. Knowledge can come in all forms. There was too much pride involved to bring the students together. I bet that is one of the reasons why the school never worked together to do better.

    In general, I wouldn’t say that this is the worst school in the world and to not come here. In fact, to me this school was a better bargain than I thought. Of course all good things don’t come without sacrifice. For example, sure, you know I may not have the book-smarts of any of my college peers and posses the key to first-class social ties, or know a lot of important dates, but I do have something that I could never have learned in an “adequate” school program. What is this mystical treasure I attained, you say? Why it’s simple, it’s how to take care of myself without having to depend on someone else, or in other words, independence. Things like waking up, going to school, completing dead lines and doing homework are all actions a person has to do without being told. If you are waiting for someone to tell you what to do, you are going to wait your life away. “School starts at 8:30 and if you are not ready, you better start walking” as my mom used to put it. Then, “if you don’t want to go to school, you better start looking for a job because the bills are not going to pay for themselves; it’s my way or the highway!” Yes, it’s like that around here.

    At my old high school, I learned one thing. If you did not do things for yourself, you were bound to fail like many of your preceding peers. Life is not a game, it’s for real and if you want to make something of yourself, you better get up and do it. There are no shortcuts, time outs, or replays, and you only get one chance, that means all of your actions will follow you until you die, no matter what. It was a fact that if you did not know, you would soon learn the hard way, through experience.

    Being independent, although hard to believe, prepares you for life as an adult (as if you didn’t know). And a good harsh reality check will always leave you thinking about your actions. Like a lot of wise people say, “Knowledge is power” and like all good knowledge, the power of responsibility can only be attained through hands on experience. That, is something a book can never help you understand. Only in the north side!!

    What is Sam Houston High School in the eyes of the H.I.S.D., what does it represent? The school board doesn’t see the troubles, trials, and tribulations Sam Houston students are going through; to them we are just numbers, statistics if you will. We want an education they want better numbers. To me, this little exchange should not be as difficult as it is. All of these issues are not necessarily blows at Sam Houston but they do represent the obstacles we as students face each day and unconsciously conquer each time we go again and again. The accomplishments of the students at S.H.H.S. are very massive as small as they may seem. What the average student does not know is that the numbers are stacked against them and each new day they tackle brings new hope to future students and their success. This is not your average high school; it is a hidden treasure full of potential yet to be utilized to its peak-capabilities. Sam Houston over all: not a bad school. It may need a few tweaks here and there, but still a good school nonetheless. It may lack the potential expected or the standards set forth, but it still does a lot more than you think it does. To me, it’s a work in progress but if I had the choice, I still wouldn’t trade it for the world.



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    Unique Haircut Experience at Boomerang Cuts Barbershop by Jermaine Thomas

    10976 North Freeway
    Houston, TX 77037 (281) 847-1002

    November 2010-People sometimes travel to fancy places like the Astrodome or the Galleria in order to enjoy Houston. They believe that the only way to have a good time in Houston is to spend large amounts of money at luxurious restaurants and attractions. Places like the Toyota Center and Minute Maid Park may be very fun and unique locations to visit while in Houston. However, there is a place that can please a person just as much. The only difference is that they will not have to spend a large amount of money there in order to have a good time. In fact, a person will not spend any more than twenty dollars while inside unless you just feel obligated to give a generous donation. Also, you will not need to travel half way around the world in order to visit.

    Boomerang Cuts Barbershop is really one of the few places in Houston that a person will enjoy visiting without gaining anything other than a friendly environment and a nice conversation. The barbershop has made multiple appearances in the Houston Chronicle being called “…one of the best barbershops in Houston.” In my opinion it should have been headlined, “The Best Barbershop in Houston” because I believe that it truly is. They “design some of the most stylish haircuts and hairstyles In Houston…” as stated in the Houston Chronicle, but more importantly there is no other establishment in Houston where a person can receive as much generosity as they will while visiting The Boomerang Cuts Barbershop. It is truly the place to visit while in Houston.

    Boomerang Cuts Barbershop is one of the few original barbershops in Houston that has survived the arrival of new barbershops that are equipped with high tech clippers, expensive commercials, and flashy billboards that just about blind you. The new barbershops utilize these things in order to advertise their business and increase their clientele. Boomerang Cuts Barbershop does not need these tactics in order to keep clients coming back. Their top-of-the-line haircuts, generosity, and family environment is enough to keep customers returning. All kinds of races, from Latinos and Caucasians to African Americans and Indians, come in and out of the barbershop every day. It is a true representation of what the Houston community is like most. Non-Houstonians might think of Houston as a city full of people that only care about chopped and screwed music and trucks. Though the barbershop might play chopped and screwed music from time to time, that is not the only kind of music we listen to. I found it hilarious when a Californian once asked me if I knew what MTV was until I realized he was not joking. The fact is that Houston is “…one of the most diverse cities when it comes to race and ethnicity…” ( More importantly, Houston is also filled with caring, and friendly people like the ones you’ll find at Boomerang Cuts Barbershop.

    The Boomerang Cuts Barbershop has been a part of the Houston city since 1982, and the barbershop has not moved from its location in the Greenspoint community. Although the exterior has been recently painted with beige paint, the old octagonal shaped windows in the front of the shop and the original 1980’s red and white striped pillar beside the door hints to just how long the barbershop has been around. It might not be as appealing to the eye as the Pyramids of Egypt, but unlike the Pyramids you feel a sense of homey security as you approach the sidewalk to the barbershop. It’s as if the barbershop is extending its hand to you, beckoning you to come in where it is safe. You might think its safety is due to its location directly behind a recently built elementary school, however, throughout the twenty years the barbershop has been in operation, the police have never had to pay a visit to Boomerang Cuts except for medical emergencies. This is very surprising considering that it is located at the heart of a high crime area. No one really knows why no one has ever tried to rob the barbershop or commit any type of crimes in or near the barbershop. It may be because all of the barbers are very muscular black men or possibly because the local community knows the barbershop is a true family. Whatever the reason may be, it seems to have kept all of the violence of the outside world on the outside of the barbershop.

    Inside, the noise of clippers and obvious bellowing of blow dryers greet you. If you are lucky, you might stumble in on the barbers and clients in the middle of a discussion about a controversial topic. The last time I entered two of the barbers, Bernard and Juan, were discussing whether or not President Obama should be considered the first black president since his mother is a white female.

    “Maybe he could be named the first half-black president, Bernard, because that’s all he is.” says Juan in a comical but stern manner.

    When Lil Wayne was sent to prison last year, everyone was talking about it. “The police is just hatin’ because Wayne is at the top of his game. They can’t help but to bring my boy down when he’s at the top.” said, Richy, another barber. A client of his replied saying, “ Oh shut up Richy. The only reason you say that is because you’re still working here instead of releasing platinum albums like you said you were gonna do for the last five years.”

    These are just a couple examples of the many conversations that take place in the barbershop. The topics range from entertainers to politics and usually go on for about two hours, but there is never really any hostility displayed towards each other. That is why many people love going to the Boomerang Cuts Barbershop. You can talk about anything you without being judged or receiving negative comments from the others. It is a place to express your opinions, and questions asked.This open acceptance of clients and ideas makes Boomerang Cuts Barbershop a place to get away from all of the chaos in your life and just relax.

    The waiting area for the clients smells like a mixture of the barber’s hair grease and the cleaning products they use to clean their combs and clippers as you enter. As you lean back to get your haircut or hairdo, the first thing you might see is that the ceiling looks as though it were the original ceiling tiles with the many yellow stains from water on the roof. The tile on the floor looks like crystal clear seawater. It is aqua blue engulfed in a wave like pattern. If you stare at it long enough you might even feel as though you’re wading in the fresh waters of the Bahamas. Also, there are two vending machines filled with overpriced snacks and drinks for the waiting clients. The first time I used one of the vending machines I was about seven years old, at the time, and my mom had dropped me off at the barbershop to get a haircut for the first day of school. I had seventy-five cents in my pocket and decided to get a Snickers bar. I put my change in the machine, entered the code, and two minutes later I was still staring at the machine, just realizing there would be no Snickers for me, and that it had stolen my last bit of change. I must have cried for about five hours until it was time for me to get my haircut. I never like those vending machines after that. Now as I sit in the comfy chairs waiting to get my haircut, I ignore it’s pleas for money and focus on the twelve artistic barbers chomping away at their client’s hair, creating and designing a true works of art. All kinds of hair is scattered on the floor around them: curly hair, black hair…even fake hair.

    If the barbers themselves aren’t enough to keep your interest, the recreational area might. It is open to anyone and everyone, including children and babies. They have an X-Box 360 for the children, teenagers, and even the more juvenile adults. It can get very loud in this area as the kids really get into the game, and occasionally you can hear a few kids crying after being defeated. They feel as though their world has come to an end. The X-Box 360 is probably the most up to date piece of technology in the barbershop, except for the alarm system. Most of the barbers still use the foldable razor blade that has been used since the early 1900’s instead of the newer electronic clippers. This again reflects just how original the barbershop really is. There is a separate area for the infants to rest without being disturbed by all of the ruckus and loud conversations throughout the barbershop.

    As a child growing up in the Greenspoint community, there was always a lot of chaos in the environment that I witnessed firsthand. Drug dealers running from the police, grocery stores getting robbed. There were not too many places I could go and feel as if nothing could harm me. In fact, I can only remember two specific locations allowed me to feel safe which are my home and the Boomerang Cuts Barbershop. It was not only a barbershop, but a safe haven. It has always provided me and the members of my community with the mental protection from the outside world. While sitting in the recreational room of the barbershop or in the chair getting my haircut, I felt like nothing in the world could harm me. It’s no wonder as to why Boomerang Cuts Barbershop,”…keeps all clients coming back.”

    X-Box 360 Website
    Greenspoint Website
    Bahamas Website

    Author’s Bio
    Jermaine Thomas grew up in Houston, Texas with his mother and four younger siblings. He is a first year undergraduate student attending the University of Houston-Downtown. He is currently working on his Bachelor’s in Computer Science. Afterwards, he will then move on to attaining a Master’s in Software Engineering. Jermaine plans to use these degrees to pursue a career as a computer software engineer.



    A Place Of Wonder: Meyer Park by Angie Williams

    7700 Cypresswood
    Spring, Texas

    January 2004–What is the wonder behind Meyer Park? There has to be something special about this place where many are lured to spend their precious time. People choose Meyer over other parks because of its vast size, beauty, and convenient location. It is not one, but many factors that contribute to the park being successful in completing its purpose for pleasing people.

    Meyer Park is home , who runs the many soccer fields at Meyer. They take very good care of their fields and ensure their perfection. To avoid muddy fields and players kicking off chunks of grass, Meyer shuts down the fields any time it rains harder than a sprinkle. While this can be a bit irritating, most people appreciate having nice fields to play on.

    When I first started playing soccer, I played for a recreational team that was a part of Klein Soccer Club. My team, like others, was a co-ed herd of five-year-olds that had to get dressed in itchy gold and black uniforms every Saturday to swarm around a soccer ball for an hour. It was the highlight of every Saturday for reasons like getting praise from your parents for a game well played, enjoying the half-time and after game snacks, and running through the tunnel of parents after the game.

    Nothing has changed, as you can still see young ones get red in the face as they struggle through their games. As for the older teams, they turn the game of soccer into something more serious, yet more exciting too. I sit and watch select teams battle each other with aggressiveness and skill. One girl slides cleat first to gain possession of the ball from her opponent, leaving a strawberry on the back of her thigh. This doesn’t distract her because her mission was accomplished and her team now owns the ball.

    Supportive parents on the sidelines cheer for their team at active moments, sit tensely in unsure moments, and chat about any and everything in the moments between. Listening, I can hear one mother talk endlessly to another about the great deals she got at Ross. Her monologue was broken only by shouts of “Way to go Kristi” or “Pass the ball!” Some of the more laid back parents just sit in their fold up chairs and observe the game while commenting to themselves on how well a player is performing that day.

    During half-time, each team sits in its own huddle and receives the advice and/or chastising of the coach and the trainer. Smaller siblings beg their parents to get them some candy from the concession stands until their parents give in and buy the Twix that falls short of expectations by melting all over their hands. The second half begins quickly as the teams fight for a fast goal. They run themselves ragged, scrapping to finish the game.

    The final whistle blows and the tension from the close game is relieved. Players exchange handshakes and a quick “good game”. The players sit and remove their shin guards and cleats as their coach offers one last word on the game. With the final announcements out of the way the team is free to go until the next practice where they will work on all the mistakes of today’s game. As they haul their bags to their cars, their parents talk to them about certain incidents in the game that they liked or disliked.

    Although soccer is a major part of Meyer Park, it isn’t everything that Meyer has to offer, which you can see by moving around the park.

    A trip to the playground reveals a joyous scene. A giggling little girl dressed in pink overalls runs up a slide, while another child on a sugar-high chirps to her brother through the plastic megaphone attached to the playground. The scene of children playing, enjoying their youth, brings a smile to my face as I remember the days when I could swing for hours or build shapeless sandcastles out of pebbles with the occasional shards of wood. Meyer Park accommodates most everyone, including parents and their children. The extensive playground Meyer offers is broken up into three sections, each for children with a different level of physicality. The first section is for the tots who haven’t yet acquired the skills to climb high ladders or hang from monkey bars. Here you can see a mother clenching the tiny hands of her eight-month-old daughter while she helps her waddle down the path to a rocking duck. The mother places her baby on the duck and allows it to spring forward and backward while her protective hand rests on the baby’s back. The slides in this section of the playground are elongated and the tops are closer to the ground than the other slides. This allows for a shorter, slower ride for the oblivious baby who is pushed down by his mother to greet his father.

    The next level in the set of playgrounds involves an overall rising of the activity set. This allows for steeper slides and a heightened sense of danger, which is a natural lure for adventurous kids. This part of the playground is the choice of larger, more active children who are typically more prone to fighting. Parents lounge on the benches circling the playground, watching their children to ensure their good behavior. Some of the children get excited as they graduate to backless swings. They kick their legs back and forth to go as high as they can with the goal of swinging over the top of the swing set.

    The last section in the playgrounds is built higher than the other two, but it doesn’t have the same expansion as the others. At this playground kids can spiral down an enclosed slide or play tick-tack-toe on a platform five feet in the air. Older children that dare to climb the iron bars to a dizzying height choose this playground. Having limited space and no bridges to run on contribute to the fact that this is the least populated playground of the three. All of the sections of the playground are close enough to each other for kids to simply move from one to another as they please.

    Near the playground there are brightly colored balloons attached to picnic tables with red and white-checkered tablecloths. The balloons identify the location of a young girl’s birthday party where partygoers will enjoy hot dogs, cookie cake, and volleyball. It is apparent that the parents of the girl have made good on Meyer Park’s offerings and found a truly economical way to have a great time.

    There are multiple places around the park that are perfect for parties. On the North side of the park there is a large, wooden gazebo that people just love to sit and chat in. For the larger parties, there is a covered patio with many picnic tables for convenient seating. This patio has a brick bar where the food or presents can be laid. There are barbecue pits within feet of the patio to solve the problem of cooking for many guests. Restrooms, as always, are close by and easily accessible. That makes it easier for people to enjoy themselves without worrying about looking for a restroom.

    As I move along I rest on a bench facing the calm pond, and I envision being alone with nature. Accompanied only by the ducks gracefully skimming the water, I enjoy the solitude as I close my eyes and feel the cool breeze on my face. The scent of the coming rain lingers and the towering trees expand their branches out over the pond, swaying with the wind. I wait to embrace the cold droplets that will fall and immerse me totally in nature. My dream comes to a halt when a pair of children decides to chase the pigeons and geese into the water, starting a chaotic mixture of yelling, honking, and flapping wings.

    The pond is an attraction for many who want to either feed the animals or just enjoy the scenery. Trails that circle the pond enable people to get a view of the pond from all sides. If people on one side make a lot of commotion to make the animals move, people on the other side can see these animals that sought refuge. A turtle the size of a grapefruit hides under a tree root at the edge of the water until it sees a quickly moving child advance toward it. The turtle glides deeper into the water until it is beyond the light’s reach. A couple sits on a bench on the far side of the pond, holding each other’s hands and gaze deep into each other’s eyes. The pond offers a romantic setting for couples who just want to be with each other. They can walk around the pond or deeper into the wooded area on the dirt paths and talk about whatever they feel like without fear of interruption. The pond acts as just another one of many commodities at Meyer Park.

    To answer the question on what is so alluring about Meyer Park, one has to experience the park. A visit to Meyer would let one feel the park, see the many happy people, and utilize some of many of the different kinds of equipment that Meyer offers. To best experience Meyer park, you have to walk all of the trails, feed the geese at the pond, roller blade on the concrete paths, enjoy a game of soccer, take the kids to the playground, and conduct a party at the gazebo. After all of this, there is still more that you can do to enjoy Meyer Park.